22nd February 2023
Katatonia + Sólstafir - “Twilight Burials UK & Europe 2023” - Special Guests: SOM
Swedish Melancholic Rock band KATATONIA are currently touring Europe and the UK with their new album ‘Sky Void Of Stars’. Alongside the completion of the “Twilight Burials” tour line-up was co-headliner SÓLSTAFIR and additional support from SOM. On February 22, 2023, the bands took the Gruenspan stage in Hamburg. With gloomy lights, and great sound, but a bit of a drag on the support performances, it was a great night for all fans of Doom and Post Metal.
SOM took the stage punctually at 19:00 in front of a considerable audience and immediately inspired everyone with dark and bombastic Doom Metal with ultra-brutal guitars and clean vocals. The whole stage was lit up in green light, and the smoke was so thick that you could not even see their faces, only blurred silhouettes. Which of course creates a very special atmosphere. However, it makes it hard to take a picture. The sound was very good; you could hear the depth and power of the guitar riffs. The overall creative concept was partially reminiscent of DEFTONES, partially reminiscent of TYPE O’NEGATIVE. Despite the lack of big popularity so far, SOM could definitely gain new fans after the Hamburg show.
02. Awake - Sedate
05. Black Out The Sky
06. Youth - Decay
Total: 7.3 / 10
After a half-hour break, the Icelandic band SÓLSTAFIR entered the stage. Since their formation in 1995, these Icelanders have gathered quite a lot of fans, which is no small feat considering that the band’s lyrics are mostly Icelandic. Many people I know are convinced that the band plays a whole other level of music; it is like the highest level of self-discovery. For me, however, almost an hour and a half of Post-Metal seemed too long. However, I understand that the idea of this tour is that the two bands should play roughly equally long and that they should be the two headliners.
When SÓLSTAFIR took the stage, the hall was filled to capacity and the fans were simply mesmerised throughout the band’s performance. However, for some reason, they were not particularly generous with their applause. Did they fall into nirvana? Vocalist Addy Tryggvason had to move the audience every now and then. Moreover, this evening is a special moment when Addy has something to announce. Guitarist Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson is celebrating his birthday today, and of course, the fans in attendance did not miss the opportunity to wish him a loud birthday. However, it was hard for everyone to pronounce his name, so again the vocalist came to everyone's rescue and sang it himself.
SÓLSTAFIR played a set that mirrored all phases of the band and included only one song from the last album, ‘Rökkur’. Even after a long tour, the band comes across as still enthusiastic and fully committed something everyone in the room appreciates. The “Gate To Hell” - I read the sign on the speakers as the band move their equipment away to make way for the KATATONIA.
04. Bloodsoaked Velvet
08. Goddess of the Ages
Total: 7 / 10
At the very beginning of their performance KATATONIA present two songs ‘Austerity’ and ‘Colossal Shade’ from their new album ‘Sky Void Of Stars’, both first-class songs, in the spirit of KATATONIA. Frontman Jonas Renxe stubbornly hides his face beneath a black lock of hair. It is impossible to make a portrait of him. Anders Nyström’s replacement on guitar, Nico Elgstrand (Ex-ENTOMBED), clearly introduced by Jonas, does a great job and fits in well with the structure of the band. The Swedes play some old songs in the middle of the set, and then add two songs from the new album with ‘Birds’ and again towards the end of the set with ‘Atrium’. The sound is perfect and clean in all corners of Gruenspan.
The song ‘My Twin’ is also one of the best KATATONIA songs on the set list this evening, and it is singer Jonas Renxe who entertainingly announces the melody. With a bit of self-irony, he speaks of ‘My Twins’ as the band’s most important song. However, since KATATONIA is still a “young” band, there will be plenty of time to compose other hits in the future. In addition, the singing fans, a unique moment of the evening, confirm the fact that ‘My Twin’ is well known. ‘Untrodden’ from the ‘City Burials’ album ends the main set, followed by ‘July’ and ‘Evidence’ as loudly demanded encores.
02. Colossal Shade
06. Behind the Blood
10. My Twin
12. Old Heart Falls
Total: 8.5 / 10
All Pictures by Iryna Kalenska